At the Parts Life, Inc. family of companies (Parts Life, Inc.; DeVal Life Cycle Support, LLC; and LC Engineers), they’re not just working to solve product obsolescence, they’re also making it possible for employees to put down roots in their community.
The company, based in Moorestown, New Jersey, works with all military branches, original equipment manufacturers and prime contractors in aerospace and defense to manufacture critical components that extend the life of mission-critical assets. Through a novel initiative, Parts Life also offers loans to employees to help them buy homes.
How it started: The Help U Buy program, or HUB, was the brainchild of founder and CEO Sam Thevanayagam, who knows just how important a home can be.
- “The primary way that you create capital for yourself is to buy your first home,” said Thevanayagam. “I downsized my first home and bootstrapped Parts Life. I used my home as collateral to fund the acquisition of another company. Most things are funded by using your home as collateral.”
Thevanayagam thought up the program three years ago. After a few conversations with his Human Resources Department, he formalized the initiative and set it in motion.
How it works: The company offers interested employees a forgivable loan, and the employees work it off through service over the course of five years, with no additional responsibilities. According to Thevanayagam, more than 25 people have taken advantage of the program since he created it—including 17 employees in the last year alone.
- “We want every single person who works for us to be part of the American Dream,” said Thevanayagam. “When you own your first home, that sets you up for everything else. It gives you stability.”
The impact: Thevanayagam believes that the culture of a company is critical and that the HUB program speaks to Parts Life’s commitment to its employees. Parts Life also focuses on training designed to strengthen employees’ skill sets. The company frequently fills new positions by promoting from within as a demonstration of its investment in its workers.
- “It’s mutually beneficial, because it’s helping people become more valuable to the organization and themselves,”said Thevanayagam.
The last word: “My purpose is to create an environment where others can meet their God-given potential,” said Thevanayagam. “It’s a CEO’s responsibility to have the right culture. At the end of the day, I’m the bearer of that culture. I help create it, defend it. I take that job very seriously. It’s like gardening; you have to create the environment and make sure you’re working on it carefully so people have chance to grow and bloom.”
Manufacturing businesses have long been proponents of equality in the workplace. As legislation to codify protections for LGBT individuals passes through the House of Representatives, the National Association of Manufacturers joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, and other members of the business community in advocating its passage, forging coalitions and providing congressional testimony.
Introduced with bipartisan support in the U.S. House and Senate in March, the Equality Act includes federal protections for individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the existing framework of the Civil Rights Act, which already provides protection against discrimination on the basis of religion, national origin, race, color or sex. The goal of the legislation is to ensure that no person can face legal discrimination based on their gender or sexual orientation, setting a clear federal standard to enable individuals to succeed based on their abilities and qualifications to perform a job.
“Employers understand the importance of creating an environment in which the very best people can succeed based on merit,” Patrick Hedren, NAM vice president, labor, legal and regulatory policy, said. “At the same time, manufacturers know that discrimination in any form is antithetical to the values that we work to uphold every day: equality of opportunity, individual liberty, free enterprise and competitiveness.”
In March, more than 40 other industry associations rallied to support the Equality Act, providing an important boost for the groundbreaking legislation. In the weeks since, manufacturing representatives have testified before the House Education and Labor Committee and signed a coalition letter to the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services calling for the Act’s passage. As Congress considers the way forward, manufacturers have made clear that they intend to advocate forcefully on behalf of the legislation and uphold their commitment to workers of every gender identity and sexual orientation.
“The Equality Act creates a clear federal standard that matches the sentiments manufacturers already share: gender identity and sexual orientation have no impact on an employee’s abilities and discrimination is not welcome on the manufacturing floor,” Hedren said. “We look forward to working with Congress as this important legislation moves ahead.”
Washington, D.C. – National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded the 2016 Persuader Rule:
Manufacturers have fought for this victory for many years in the courts, in Congress and with two administrations, using the full weight of our policy, government relations and legal teams, said Timmons. The NAM’s Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action was able to halt the rule in court in 2016.And in 2017, the Trump administration, as part of its broader regulatory relief agenda, thankfully began the process of unwinding the rule. This overreaching rule threatened to impose serious burdens on manufacturers and upend employee–employer communications. Now manufacturers are relieved that this threat to workplace communications is finally and officially off the books. Commonsense steps like this to rein in onerous regulations are a major reason why manufacturers are reporting record-high business optimism.
The Manufacturers’ Center for Legal Action (MCLA) is the leading voice of manufacturers in the courts and engages in a range of activities, including direct party litigation and operating a robust amicus program, as well as educating manufacturers about emerging legal trends. The MCLA is led by NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly and NAM Vice President of Litigation and Deputy General Counsel Peter Tolsdorf. More information on the MCLA can be found here.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit www.nam.org.